The Likeness by Tara French


Until now I’ve focused on books with either an interior design or French cultural motif, but this book is such an enthralling mystery that I feel compelled to recommend it, especially during summer beach reading season. The Likeness is the second book by a young Irish novelist. Her first was also brilliant (In the Woods), but the second is even more sophisticated and psychologically puzzling. A policewoman is persuaded to go undercover because she is the uncanny physical double of a woman who has been murdered. Not only that, but the name of the dead woman is an alias the policewoman used on a previous undercover assignment. She enters the hothouse atmosphere of a group of graduate students in a Dublin country home, who’ve been told their roommate survived the attack. So our hero is pretending to be this dead woman, among friends who knew her intimately. And possibly murdered her. For mystery lovers, it’s irresistible.

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